Jackaby (Jackaby #1) by William Ritter

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Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.



Regrettably, the original review for this novel mysteriously disappeared – after someone forgot to save it – and since Microsoft sucks old, sweaty socks, I’ve been forced to retype and remake the entire review…

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So, I apologize for this even suckier review than normal, I didn’t have a whole bunch of time to redo this, but I had to do it. You know the saying,

“If you can’t do it right, do it anyway”

(is that not right?)

Disclaimer: My rating of a 3.5 (B+) is graded on a curve because this was the debut novel of Mr. Ritter

Jackaby is a fun novel. Throughout, we follow the partnership of Abigail and Jackaby. She’s a rebellious runaway following her dreams of adventure and fulfillment, whereas Jackaby is an eccentric, witty, sometimes charming sometimes rude, supernatural (consulting) detective. She sees the normal and he sees the unnormal unusual, because he’s like a seer or something.

The best thing about Jackaby has to be the unorthodox fantasy theme Ritter gives us. It’s very original because it’s focused around folklore (which I love) that Jackaby attempts to pass off as science. Jackaby would also have to be a positive point of the novel because I was definitely getting Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who vibes, however, he was lacking in many areas and just didn’t capture the true essence of the aforementioned characters. Another positive point would be the lack of real romance and the extremely platonic partnership between Abigail and Jackaby. Abigail does have a budding love with a certain young detective (cop?), but it’s occurring in the shadows, besides he’s got his own secrets.

The worst things about Jackaby was the lack proper action. The book is short – appx. 299 pages – so, having to read half of the novel for anything exciting to happen (or really anything at all) was quite boring. This also accounts for the fact that Abigail isn’t a great narrator, with her stale observations and dull chatter. Don’t get me wrong, she had her moments where I enjoyed her narration, but mostly I wasn’t interested. Nevertheless, the story is interesting and it’s fun to read about them finding the supernatural murderer…which Jackaby should have figured out much sooner than he did.

This is a series so I expected book 2 to advance above this novel…I’ve read book 2 but I didn’t get that…you’ll just have to wait for that review……

I know this review isn’t great, but I suggest you check out this one —> Jackaby

 

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

4.5 out of 5

★ ★ ★ ★

First there were ten–a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal–and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.


Originally published as Ten Little Niggers, then re-released with the title Ten Little Indians, but that was still offensive, so they finally abandoned racially charged words totally and chose the title above, And Then There Were None. I have to be honest and say that I’ve put off reading this book for about a year. I bought it, placed it on “my bookshelf” (aka my pantry) and left it there in the dark. It wasn’t purposeful and it had nothing to do with the double title change, because I knew it was supposed to be like a child rhyme or something, but it was just that I lacked the drive that gravitates me to books, to be frank it appeared dull. Boy was I wrong!

The first 30 or so pages are literally just characterization. We get an intro to all ten “victims” and see how different they all are. Ones an old religious nutcracker, another is a young reckless Adonis, then there’s a doctor and judge, not to mention a mysterious governess, an ex-cop, a criminal, a general, and a sweet servant couple. Why would they be going to the same location for the same event? What do all of these people have in common? Well that’s the question Ms. Christie answers in this novel. How people from all different backgrounds and settings and privilege could possibly have anything connecting them to each other.

For me the most intriguing element to this novel was the fact that we know the end. The death of each individual follows the children’s poem Ten Little Indians, and Christie tells us the poem so that us reading knows everyone will die. I also enjoyed the psychological viewpoint of having all these people turning on each other because they believe you were involved in some elaborate revenge scheme. Which brings me to how well the murders were planned! Having each person die like they do in the poem was genius and it just made guessing who’d go next and who the killer was that much more suspenseful.

Although, the book was marvelous I didn’t enjoy who the villain was. I’m pretty crafty when it comes to solving mysteries but with a novel like this it’s impossible to guess the culprit. Personally, I don’t find that appealing but that’s just me.

Does this review do this book justice?

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But hopefully you’ve been tantalized enough to give it a chance. This was my first Christie novel, however it won’t be my last.

 

 

 

Game (Jasper Dent #2) by Barry Lyga

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4 out of 5 stars

★ ★ ★ ★/ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

In an effort to prove murder didn’t run in the family, Jazz teamed with the police in the small town of Lobo’s Nod to solve a deadly case. And now, when a determined New York City detective comes knocking on Jazz’s door asking for help, he can’t say no. The Hat-Dog Killer has the Big Apple–and its police force–running scared. So Jazz and his girlfriend, Connie, hop on a plane to the big city and get swept up in a killer’s murderous games.


 

Fun Fact: I changed my Howie to Thomas Mann. After seeing Dylan O’Brien being super-ultra-mega hot, adorable in the new season of TW and The Maze Runner and The First Time, I was forced to switch my imagination.

 ♥♥♥

Game is the second novel in the Jasper Dent series, which begins interestingly. I struggled for a while to write a review for this installment because it was so good, but also flawed. The story is gory but somehow tame and everything about it reeked with confusion, which wrecked havoc on my reading mind. So I prolonged it, until I realized my memory wouldn’t last forever on the details of this book, and just decided to go with it.

 

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Back, we find ourselves again in Lobo’s Nod, but not for long –  there’s a new serial killer on the loose, Hat-Dog, and a New York City detective brings in Jazz to help solve the case. Most of our time is spent in New York City where Jasper and an uninvited Connie are to stop a super psycho killer. Once again we’re in the mind of Jasper Dent and he’s just as screwed up in this novel as he was in the first. Obsessed with the question of “if” and how smart because he’s borderline psycho, only instead of age being the precipice he falls off of turning him into a killer, it’s now sex.

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Jazz now believes that if he does the dirty with Connie he’ll become a killer…

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I’m starting think Jasper wants to be a killer. That’s all he thinks about and his entire life revolves around the hope of him not being a serial killer like, Dear Old Dad. Don’t get me wrong, I understand and sympathize with a deep struggle but he’s just frustrating. Once again I feel horrible to put Jasper in the con column, but his character can be so annoying! However, in this novel we get a better understanding of Jasper’s girlfriend and best friend because  we’re introduced to the POV’s of both Connie and Howie.

Interestingly enough Connie worked my nerves. She’s only a teenager, so I guess it’s only expected for her to be immature, but going after a serial killer on her own is just beyond stupid. But she was still an interesting character and a nice switch from Jazz, being strong and independent she’s a great character. The same goes with Howie. He’s an amazing character that balances humor with love and seriousness. Jasper has some amazing friends that would do anything for him.

Moving on, the Hat-Dog killer isn’t the most elaborate of villains (especially for people like me who can easily decipher mysteries), but he is an interesting opponent for Jasper. He’s heinous and dangerous and this book is really dark for a young adult novel. There’s rape (implied) and murder and it’s up to Jasper to solve the mystery of Hat-Dog. Did I mention Billy escaped prison and is now walking around…free…one of the most dangerous serial killers to ever exist in the history of serial killers? Well he is.

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The diversity in this book rivals many young adult novels, with Connie being black, Howie being a hemophiliac, and Jasper being raised by a serial killer – It’s not just racial diversity but just everything.

This novel is wonderfully full of interesting twist and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat, so read it! But I do need to warn you that it ends in a cliffhanger so large that you will need book 3 immediately.

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Give It Back by Danielle Esplin

regte-ene-fake-review(Am I blowing up your inbox? Well, if I am I’m sorry and this is the last post of today!)

Not long ago, Lorraine lost her husband to another woman. She thought that’s the worst thing that could happen to her, but soon she realizes it’s only the beginning of an everlasting nightmare.

The au pair, Lexy, moves to Seattle to help Lorraine with her infant son. But she didn’t come for the kids, she came for something else.

When Ella receives a call from her sister, Lorraine, who begs her to leave San Diego to spend time with her in Seattle, she thinks she will take a few days off from work. Frightened to see how her sister weakened since her diagnoses, she packs her small bag with a foreboding that this might be the last time she sees her.

But on her way to the airport she learns that something shocking had happened between the day she last spoke with Lorraine and the morning of the flight. Lorraine’s testimony changes, making Ella question how unreliable her sister really is.

Soon Ella is entangled in a mysterious investigation, and more so, in the lives of everyone involved. Not only will she realize that she won’t go home soon, but she will never look at others the way she did before.


Hmm…a little thriller, mystery action sounds like a very interesting change from the novels I’ve been:

A) Reading

B) Doing the new releases for

But this isn’t a bad thing! Although I’m a bit confused with Ella, Lexy, Lorraine (geez that’s a lot of names in ONE synopsis), this book will still be a tasty burst of flavor since I’m journeying out from my usual genre. Another cool thing is that this is Danielle Esplin’s debut novel, so if it’s good there will be many more to come.

Click cover to pre-order

The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos

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All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It’s the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist; she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed of a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as “troubled waters.”

Now Imogene is seventeen, and her father, a famous author of medical mysteries, has struck out in the middle of the night and hasn’t come back. Neither Imogene’s stepmother nor the police know where he could’ve gone, but Imogene is convinced he’s looking for her mother. And she decides it’s up to her to put to use the skills she’s gleaned from a lifetime of reading her father’s books to track down a woman she’s only known in stories in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she’s carried with her for her entire life.


This is Rebecca Podos’ debut novel and to be perfectly honest I don’t know what this book is going to be about. I read the summary but it really didn’t tell me anything all that intriguing or even what the novel is going to be about besides the, few, general tidbits of information.

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However, I do know that it’s a young adult mystery, thriller and that’s something. This title isn’t available until January 26, 2016 but can be pre-ordered by clicking the cover.

 

A Talent for Trickery (The Thief-takers #1) by Alissa Johnson

I love a good Victorian murder-mystery thriller, with a hint of romance. Truthfully it’s one of my favorite genres, along with one of my favorite female heroine types. In my opinion there aren’t enough Victorian novels that showcase females as criminals. Sure we have some, but not enough to satisfy my taste! So this is a sweet treat. Thankfully this novel will be available very shortly – publication is November 3, 2015.


The Lady is a Thief

Years ago, Owen Renderwell earned acclaim—and a title—for the dashing rescue of a kidnapped duchess. But only a select few knew that Scotland Yard’s most famous detective was working alongside London’s most infamous thief…and his criminally brilliant daughter, Charlotte Walker.

Lottie was like no other woman in Victorian England. She challenged him. She dazzled him. She questioned everything he believed and everything he was, and he has never wanted anyone more. And then he lost her.

Now a private detective on the trail of a murderer, Owen has stormed back into Lottie’s life. She knows that no matter what they may pretend, he will always be a man of the law and she a criminal. Yet whenever he’s near, Owen has a way of making things complicated…and long for a future that can never be theirs.

Click Cover to Pre-Order